What is a School Tax Levy Referendum?
Indiana Code 20-46-1-8 allows the governing body of a school corporation to adopt a resolution to place a public question on a ballot if the governing body determines that the school corporation (1) cannot carry out its public educational duty unless it imposes a referendum tax levy or (2) that a referendum tax levy should be imposed to replace property tax revenue that the school corporation will not receive because of the application of circuit breaker credits.
In addition, Indiana Code 20-46-1-8.5 allows for the school corporation to place a public question on the ballot to extend a referendum tax levy for a period not to exceed the number of years the original referendum tax levy was imposed for. A referendum tax levy may be extended only if (1) the resolution is adopted by the governing body of the school corporation and (2) the public question to extend the levy is approved in a referendum before December 31 of the final calendar year the original referendum tax levy is imposed.
A school corporation seeking an operating levy referendum must certify a copy of its resolution, including the language of the proposed question, to the Department of Local Government Finance (“Department”). The Department will review the proposed language and either approve or reject the language based on its compliance with IC 20-46-1-10 (or IC 20-46-1-10.1 for a referendum to extend a levy) and send the determination to the school corporation not more than ten days after the resolution is submitted to the Department.
If the Department approves the proposed language, the governing body of the school corporation must certify a copy of its resolution, including the language of the proposed question and the Department’s approval, to (1) the county fiscal body (for informational purposes only) and (2) the circuit court clerk of each county in which the school corporation is located.
Click HERE for information on past school tax levy referenda.